Friday, February 24, 2012

Home Again Alone

I am waiting at the
Xin Xing Chinese take out
For my order of
Chow Har Kew
(Breaded fried jumbo shrimp
Cooked with broccoli
Sno peas
Baby corn
Straw mushrooms and
Chinese vegetables)
When in staggers
A splendid specimen of
One of Castor Avenue’s
Finest female denizens
(Let’s call her
Lady Godiva)
To place her order
For four chicken wings
And a small
Won ton soup

Since Lady Godiva
Has a number of
Missing front teeth
Emily the order taker
Has a hard time
Lady Godiva’s order
Which has to be
Three or four times
Before Emily
Can figure out
The jumble of
Slurred words
That Ms. Godiva
Has been trying to
Spit out

“That will be five dollars!”
Says Emily to the
Obviously inebriated
Ms. Godiva
Who counts her money
And loose change
At least three more times
Only to realize that she is
A dollar short

Lady Godiva’s
Equally drunk paramour
(Let’s call him
Sir Lancelot)
Is leaning against a
Corner lamp post
And it is painfully obvious
That it is all that
He can do to just
Remain standing
In an upright position
I guessed
That the two of them
Had just stumbled out of
McCurran’s Tavern
Across the street
In search of some dinner
Before calling it a night
And heading home
(Which might be
A card board box
At the 13th Street
Subway platform
Unless Sir Lancelot
Had a SRO
Somewhere in the neighborhood
That he would be willing to share
With Lady Godiva
Even if it was
Just for one night

Lady Godiva rifles through
Lancelot’s pants pockets
Once again
For any loose change or for
Any loose dollars that
She may have missed
During her last scavenging
And bless her heart
She does!

Lady Godiva
Then rushes
Back into the
Excitedly waving
The liberated dollar
That she had
Found in Lancelot’s
Pants pocket!

Having thus paid for and
Retrieved her take out
Lady Godiva and
Sir Lancelot
Start chomping on
The chicken wings
While hanging on to
The lamp post and
Trying at the same time
To keep
Each other from
Falling down

The two of them
Seemed quite content
With themselves as they
Staggered back
Across the street
Clinging to one another
Dodging oncoming traffic
To make it back to
The warmth and
Alcohol fueled
Fellowship of
McCurran’s Tavern
I picked up
My food order
And beat a
Hasty retreat
As I walked
Soberly and
The half block or so
Distance to my home

I turned the key
In the lock
Stamped the snow and ice
Off of my feet
And slowly went inside

Home again

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment